Tag Archives: Sinus Misery



AccuWeather 2019 US Spring Allergy Forecast

If you’re one of the one in five Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies and your sense is that your sinuses are making you more miserable each passing year, you’re not imagining it. The cause of all this misery is climate change. Rising average temperatures and wetter conditions lead to surging amounts of pollens and longer allergy seasons.
More pollen means more seeds and even greater amounts of pollen the following year. To make matters worse, warmer average temperatures across the year mean spring starts earlier and winter arrives later.
Researchers estimate that pollen counts of all varieties will double in large parts of the US by 2040. (Irfan, 5/21/2019)

Changes in tree pollen allergy risk by 2100 if CO2 reaches a concentration of 970 parts per million

Tree pollen allergy risk in the United States

Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America

“A recent study in the journal Lancet Planetary Health found that airborne pollen counts have been increasing around the world as average temperatures climbed. The majority of the 17 sites studied showed an increase in the amount of pollen and longer pollen seasons over 20 years.
“And the faster the climate changes, the worse it gets. That’s why residents of Alaska, which is warming twice as fast as the global average, now face especially high allergy risks.
“Taken together over the long term, seasonal allergies present one of the most robust examples of how global warming is increasing risks to health. Allergies are already a major health burden, and they will become an even larger drain on the economy.
“’It’s very strong. In fact, I think there’s irrefutable data,’ said Jeffrey Demain, director of the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska. ‘It’s become the model of health impacts of climate change.’
“And since so many are afflicted — some estimates say up to 50 million Americans have nasal allergies — scientists and health officials are now trying to tease out the climate factors driving these risks in the hopes of bringing some relief in the wake of growing pollen avalanches.” (Irfan, 5/21/2019)

Climate Change Projections for Pollen Production

Source: Climate Central

So pollens are making us feel miserable … then there are the molds!

Source: consumer Reports
The symptoms of mold allergies are similar to pollen allergies and bacterial infections of the sinuses. The difference is that mold spores breathed into your sinuses form biofilms in there to create warm, cozy protected spaces for the colony to live. If you spray a decongestant up your nose, the biofilms keep the spray from reaching the spores inside the biofilm. So if you’re having what feels like a cold that won’t go away no matter what you do or extra-terrible, long-lasting pollen allery symptoms, it could well be molds have made themselves at home in your sinuses.


Source: rtkenvironmental.com


Biofilms are communities of micro-organisms which adhere  to each other and often also to a surface. These  groups of adhered cells produce a slimy protective coating around themselves and like to embed themselves inside  warm, moist cavities like our sinuses where  they can keep themselves safe from other pathogens. (Nature.com, 2019) & (Wikipedia, 5/21/2019)
Source: PicsWe



“Symptoms such as an inflamed nasal passage, body aches and a cold that worsens usually suggest a sinus infection caused by bacteria. However, sometimes sinus problems aren’t due to bacterial infections alone but are caused from molds.

“Sinuses are air-filled passages in the face and head that are lined with a mucous membrane, which is a thin, moist layer of tissue. A sinus infection from mold is a condition occurring when the mucous membrane becomes inflamed because a person inhales airborne spores released from mold, which is a type of fungus, usually growing in moist damp areas.

“A mold sinus problem and infection caused by molds can easily be overlooked . Exposure to mold in people who live in fungal conditions are likely to suffer from sinus infections yearly.

“Understanding the production of bio-film from mold,bacteria and yeast is key in understanding how to rid the body of pathogens from the sinuses, lungs and other parts of the human body.

“Bio-film is produced by certain species of fungus / mold, bacteria, and some forms of yeast. These pathogens secrete a slime, or protective coating around themselves protecting them from other environmental pathogens, which would attack or disable them. Since pathogens within the bio-film are protected by the bio-film they have no direct contact with the blood, therefore any anti-fungal, or bacterial medications rarely have an effect on those protected pathogens. This is why many people suffer multiple sinus surgeries, over and over again, as the surgeon failed to remove all of the bio-film from the sinus cavities allowing regrowth to occur and the continuation of the Mold Sinus Problems (emphasis added).

 – (Mold Victim, 2019)
This short video tells you perhaps more than you want to know about biofilms and why they cause us misery when nasty ones take up residence in our sinuses or elsewhere in our bodies. Gross but very interesting.


The most northern parts of the globe are getting hardest hit by global warming and the resulting increase in allergies.
“Alaska is warming so fast that computer models have had a hard time believing the results. That’s having huge consequences for allergy sufferers in the state, and not just from pollen.
“Demain from the Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center of Alaska explained that rising temperatures are melting permafrost beneath Alaskan towns, causing moisture to seep into homes. This dampness then allows mold to grow, causing more people to seek treatment for mold allergies.”  (Irfan, 5/21/2019)



If your sinuses have been making you miserable this spring, here’s a natural way to help yourself feel  a whole lot better – without taking any decongestants, other allergy meds or antibiotics.
Here’s a video of how to use a neti pot to irrigate your sinuses to remove any nasty allergens that have taken up residence in there:


A few suggested variations that differ from the way Ashley uses her neti pot in the video:
  • I recommend getting a ceramic rather than a plastic neti pot – much easier to keep it clean. The ceramic ones can be put in the dishwasher to sterilize. I’ve used the same white ceramic model for a few decades.
  • You can buy those more expensive packages of neti pot salt or get a big container of pure sea salt and use some of it. I like La Baleine Sea Salt (Fine).
  • Using warm, filtered water in lieu of distilled water should be fine too.
  • If you use your neti pot in the shower, you don’t have to worry about dribbling the salt solution on your shirt and can also lean against the shower wall to get your head at the right angle so the solution doesn’t run down the back of your throat.
So that’s the basic way to use a neti pot to get the gunk out of your sinuses – clean hands, warm water and sea salt.



You can break open any probiotics capsule you take in supplement form and add its contents to your neti pot along with the warm water and sea salt.
A warning: You’ll probably feel a burn as you pour the  resulting solution into your nostrils. I can only say a few minutes of mild to moderate burning is worth the relief you’ll feel when you realize you can breathe again.



This is what I came up with when I had some kind of long-lasting fungal infection in my sinuses during the fall of 2016. Fungi are a group of spore-producing organisms that feed on organic matter – including molds, yeast, mushrooms and toadstools. I was pretty sure no mushrooms or toadstools were growing in my sinuses and nasal passages but was pretty sure the infection contained molds and/or yeast because it felt different and much more intense than any of the sinus infections I used to get  when I was younger, before I started tending better to my gut microbiome.
So I added the contents of these two supplements to the warm water and sea salt in my neti pot.
  • Allicidin
  • RepHresh
I already knew about the biofilm-penetrating property of a supplement called Allicidin because I’d taken it to break open the endospores formed by Clostridium difficile when I had that nasty bacterial infection living in my colon in 2010.
About Allicidin:
  • SUPPORTS BOTH CARDIOVASCULAR & IMMUNE SYSTEM: Allicidin features a full spectrum, botanical formula made from premier quality garlic extract with notable amounts of allicin to assist you and your family with exquisitely thorough immune and cardiovascular support, just when you need it.
  • ALLICIN, THE ACTIVE FACTOR IN GARLIC: Premier Allicidin is known for its Allicin OrganoSulfur Complex which yields the unique nutrient Allicin. Allicin is a legendary organosulfur immune compound found in garlic that is activated in garlic when the fresh bulb is pressed, causing it to release the catalyzing enzyme, alliinase, which quickly converts alliin to the immune-active compound, allicin.
  • OUR TOP IMMUNE SUPPORT PRODUCT: Premier Allicidin is our Top Product for all those people who are in need of immune and cardiovascular support.
  • 100% VEGETARIAN: Premier Allicidin is the realization of a breakthrough fermentation process yielding all natural vegetarian ingredients, and its incredible formula is verified by independent testing according to USP guidelines and standards.
  • UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY: At Premier Research Labs, we never compromise on safety, efficacy, or quality on any product. We go a quantum leap further by striving to produce products that are 100% excipient-free and made with solvent-free vegetable capsules.
You can buy this useful, high quality supplement on Amazon:

Premier  Research Labs Allicidin- Supports Both Immune and Cardiovascular Health (60 Capsules)

Then I chose the probiotic formula RepHresh as the probiotic to add to my neti pot because it contains two lactobacillus probiotics (L-reuteri and L-rhamnosus) to target vaginal yeast infections, a type of fungal overrun.

You can also buy RepHresh on Amazon:

RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Supplement for Women, 30 Oral Capsules


A few comments on this two-step attack on fungal infections in the sinuses and nasal passages:
  • If you’ve got a heavy duty fungal colony living in biofilms inside your sinuses and nasal passages, try using Allicidin alone in your warm water and sea salt solution for a day or two to give the biofilms a chance to be truly penetrated.
  • Then use Allicidin the following day with the addition of RepHresh in your basic solution so the probiotics in the latter can ggain good access to the fungi to do them in.
  • You’ll experience a mild garlic smell inside your nose after the Allicidin solution has  run through your sinuses. There’ll also be some small black specks inside your nose. Changing the solution in your neti pot to just warm water and sea salt will get both out.
  • The Allicidin and RepHresh solutions will both likely burn a bit as they come in contact with the delicate mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses. Again – that short discomfort is worth getting rid of the fungal infection so you can breathe again and feel like your old energetic self.
  • You might need to repeat the two-step process one moretime if you’ve got long-established bacterial and fungal colonies growing in your sinuses.


Please let me know if you have success with these neti pot treatments or come up with useful modifications of my suggestions.




Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection

What I Did for Sinus Misery

Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them?

Yerba Santa for Sinuses



If you’d like to know which particular pollen and mold counts are high in your area, you can check the National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Reports issued by the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. You can also sign up for personalized email alerts from them.


Source: footage.framepool.com











American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. (5/26/2019). National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Reports. See: https://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts?ipb=1

Hardin, J.R. (2013-2014). Sinuses. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/sinuses/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/09/18/probiotics-sinusitis-sinus-infection/

Hardin, J.R. (2016). What I Did for Sinus Misery. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/10/09/what-i-did-for-sinus-misery/

Hardin, J.R. (2017). Do You Want to Just Suppress Your Allergy Symptoms or Actually Fix What’s Causing Them? See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2017/05/16/want-just-suppressyour-allergy-symptoms-actually-fix-whats-causing/

Hardin, J.R. (12/24/2017). Yerba Santa for Sinuses. See: https://allergiesandyourgut.com/2017/12/24/yerba-santa-sinuses/

Irfan, U. (5/21/2019). It’s not your imagination. Allergy season gets worse every year: Pollen allergy seasons continue to get longer and more intense as temperatures rise. See: https://www.vox.com/2019/4/8/18300342/pollen-season-2019-allergies-climate-change

L. H. Ziska et al. (3/2019). Temperature-related changes in airborne allergenic pollen abundance and seasonality across the northern hemisphere: a retrospective data analysis. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3:3. See: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(19)30015-4/fulltext
Mold Victin. (2019). Mold Sinus Problems & Bio-Film in the Body. See: http://moldvictim.org/mold-sinus-problems-bio-film-in-the-body/
Nature.com. (2019). Biofilms. See: https://www.nature.com/subjects/biofilms
Wikipedia/ (5/19/2019). Biofilm. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofilm



© Copyright 2019. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved. 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Probiotics for Sinusitis and Sinus Infection



The Misery of Sinusitis (Source: healthxwellness.com)
The Misery of Sinusitis (Source: healthxwellness.com)


If you’ve ever suffered through sinus congestion or, even worse, a sinus infection, you’ve probably wondered why these cavities are there in our heads.


Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis. (Source: www.asthmacenter.com)
Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis. (Source: www.asthmacenter.com)
It turns out our sinuses are necessary:
  • They warm and moisturize the air on its way to our lungs.
  • They allow us to balance our big-brained heads on our relatively meager necks so we can walk upright on two feet. These empty spaces in our skulls lighten the weight of our heavy heads so we’re not like the rhinoceros, whose head is so weighty the animal often keeps it resting on the ground.




There are four sets of sinuses behind our faces. Here’s where they’re located:


Locations of sinuses. (Source: ookfordiagnosis.com)
Locations of sinuses. (Source: ookfordiagnosis.com)



And here’s a diagram of what they look like when they become inflamed with mucus building up inside them:


Front view of face with sinuses visible. Sinus lining is red and inflamed, and mucus is building up inside. (Source: www.uofmmedicalcenter.org)
Front view of face with sinuses visible. Sinus lining is red and inflamed, and mucus is building up inside. (Source: www.uofmmedicalcenter.org)



Having had chronic sinus inflammation, congestion and infections for many, many years, I can attest to their often making me feel like that rhino – feeling like my head was too heavy to hold up. Other symptoms were – having to breathe through my mouth all the time making it hard to eat and sleep well, having a constantly scratchy throat and uneasy stomach from post nasal drip, suffering from sour breath, feeling slightly dizzy from being unable to get enough air, feeling physically depressed from being exhausted all the time. When I finally figured out how to correct my unbalanced gut bacteria and fix my allergies, that all mercifully stopped.



Not me - but how I feel now that my sinuses aren't inflamed. (Source: www.happyhealthyhomepage.com)
Not me – but how I feel now that I don’t have allergies and my sinuses aren’t inflamed. (Source: www.happyhealthyhomepage.com)


That’s the background.
The purpose of this post is to share a nifty suggestion for resolving sinusitis or a sinus infection – naturally, without the antibiotics doctors usually prescribe. Each time you take an antibiotic, you’re killing off many of the good, probiotic bacteria in your gut – bacteria which the body requires to stay healthy. And these antibiotics often don’t even  address the sinus infection.



Since most sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria, taking antibiotics to treat them is unwise. (Source: www.buzzle.com)
Since most sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria, taking antibiotics to treat them is unwise. (Source: www.buzzle.com)




THE NATURAL AND EFFECTIVE SINUS REMEDY (Pope, 2010) (Saunders, no date)


  1. Empty the contents of a probiotic capsule into a ceramic neti pot or nasal spray bottle.
  2. Add warm filtered water.
  3. Add a bit of sea salt (about 1/8 teaspoon) and baking soda (if desired).
  4. Mix ingredients together carefully with a spoon or shake nasal spray bottle after screwing on the lid.
  5. Neti Pot Method: While standing over a sink or in the shower, insert the nozzle of the neti pot into one nostril, and make sure there is a good seal between the nozzle and your nostril. Lean forward, close the back of your throat and breathe through your mouth. Then allow the contents of the neti pot to enter one nasal opening and rinse through to exit out the other nasal opening. This may take up to two or three minutes if your nasal passages are congested. Repeat on the other side. Try to avoid swallowing the water that goes into the nostrils and blow your nose when finished.
  6. Spray Bottle Method: Insert the nozzle of the spray bottle into one nostril while covering the other nostril. While compressing the pump on the nasal spray bottle, inhale deeply. Repeat several times on both sides. Be prepared to spit out anything left after inhaling the mist.
  7. When finished, wash out the neti pot or spray bottle with warm water and soap and allow to dry before using again.
  8. Probiotics can be used not just as a natural sinus remedy.  They can also be used to prevent sinus infections in the first place.  Click here for an article which describes this method. (Pope, 2013)



Using a Nasal Spray Bottle. (Source: www.telegraph.co.uk)
Using a Nasal Spray Bottle. (Source: www.telegraph.co.uk)



Using a Neti Pot
Using a Neti Pot. (Source: www.occhealthnews.net)










This is Raine Saunders’ report of her experience using probiotics to vanquish a raging, seemingly intractable sinus infection:

Now here’s the most amazing part – at bedtime, I emptied the contents of a probiotics capsule into the neti-pot and proceeded to pour the warm water, salt, baking soda and probiotic mixture into my nasal passages. Immediately I felt a terrible burning sensation that went on for a good ten minutes. It was quite painful, but as it subsided, I was filled with a peaceful calm, and then retired to bed and had a good night sleep. The next morning, I awoke and was surprised to find that even as time went on, my head remained pain-free throughout the day. The horrible “ice pick” sinus pressure which was normally in full-swing by 10 a.m. was completely gone. Whenever I felt like I was getting a slight ache, I performed the facial massage to my temples and sinuses I had done the day before. I also used the probiotics in my neti pot a few more times over the next five days, along with my Whole Body Defense from Gaia Herbs, and some grapefruit seed extract (about 5 drops in 6 ounces of water twice a day). I was cured! I really believe those probiotics did some magical trick – although I’m sure some of the other things I did helped as well – because the first time I did it, after the burning came and went, the pain was completely gone and has not returned since. (Saunders, no date)


So be prepared for a “terrible burning sensation in your sinuses and nose” if you try this. I can only say that, if I get another sinus infection (which is unlikely given how strong my gut microbiome is now), I would prefer choose 10 minutes of discomfort over the damage done by antibiotics – especially knowing the probiotics treatment is likely to work!)






(Source: drkateklemer.com)
(Source: drkateklemer.com)






Keeping your immune system balanced and strong so you don’t develop sinusitis or an acute sinus infection is clearly the way to go. Getting enough and the right variety of prebiotics and probiotics – from your diet and from high quality supplements – is important to achieve that goal.
As is true everywhere in the body, the nasal passages are colonized by micro-organisms. When the balance of beneficial flora to harmful flora is out of balance, problems can develop. A study showed that drinking kefir, a fermented milk drink loaded with healthy probiotics, decreased the levels of pathogenic bacteria in the nasal passages. Other research indicates probiotics are helpful for reducing congestion and the other symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Chris Kresser points out that this is “especially interesting because in Chinese medicine, they believe sinus issues are almost always related to the gut.” (Kresser, no date)
For more information on prebiotics, probiotics,and kefir, see:







(Source: whattoprepare.com)
(Source: whattoprepare.com)




The most important part of your immune system lives inside your gut – your gut microbiome, consisting of billions of micro-organisms.  If your gut microbiome is balanced and healthy, then you probably are too.












Probiotics recommended by Chris Kresser, a practitioner of functional and integrative medicine and a licensed acupuncturist. His informative website is http://chriskresser.com/
This information is from his post 5 Uncommon Uses for Probiotics. (Kresser, no date)
Sarah Pope, whose website is called The Healthy Home Economist,  recommends this high quality, therapeutic strength, multi-strain probiotic:

Bio-Kult – Probiotic Multi-Strain Formula

Her entire list of recommendations for Supplements & Superfoods, and many other products, can be found here.



(Source: www.healthierpost.com)
(Source: www.healthierpost.com)



See SINUSES for more information.








Hardin, J.R. (1/1/2014). Super Immunity. AllergiesAndYourGut.com.  See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/

Hardin, J.R. (1/11/2014). Sinuses. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/symbiosis-versus-dysbiosis/sinuses/

Hardin, J.R. (1/17/2914).  Kefir. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/kefir/

Hardin, J.R. (2/5/2014). Prebiotics and Probiotics.  AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/prebiotics-and-probiotics/

Kresser, C. (no date). 5 Uncommon Uses for Probiotics. See:  http://chriskresser.com/5-uncommon-uses-for-probiotics

Pope, S. (2010). Natural and Effective Sinus Infection Remedy. The HealthyHomeEconomist.com.  See: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/heal-sinus-infections-with-no-antibiotics-really/

Pope, S. (2012). Shopping List. HealthyHomeEconomist.com. See: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/resources/#supplements

Pope, S. (2013). Stop Sinus Problems Fast with This Easy Tip. The HealthyHomeEconomist.com. See: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/discourage-holiday-sinus-problems-with-this-easy-tip/

Saunders, R. (no date). How I Cured A Raging Sinus Infection Naturally, With No Drugs. Agricultural Society. See:  http://agriculturesociety.com/alternative-medicine-and-treatment/how-i-cured-a-raging-sinus-infection-naturally-with-no-drugs/



© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.


DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.